Scritti Politti Tour - Cupid & Psyche
plus Alexis Taylor
Scritti Politti have announced a series of performances of their album ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’, in its entirety, for the very first time; including a date at Sage Gateshead.
The album, released in the summer of 1985, was both a pop masterpiece and landmark in music production. Terrifyingly complex technology, embarrassingly expensive studio time and months of intensive work resulted in a brilliant, immaculate sound, described today by singer Green Gartside as “pyrotechnics of pointillist syncopation”.
“Stylishly wrought, at times delightfully eccentric” – Rolling Stone
Overseen by legendary producer Arif Mardin and featuring some of New York’s finest session musicians, Cupid & Psyche 85 took Scritti’s acute pop sensibility to new, glittering heights. It spawned five singles, all hits on one side of the Atlantic or the other: ‘Wood Beez’, ‘The Word Girl’, ‘Absolute’, ‘Perfect Way’ and ‘Hypnotize’. Critics bestowed the album with effusive praise.
Cupid & Psyche 85 provides evidence of an extraordinary musical journey. After witnessing a show by The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned and The Heartbreakers in 1976, Green felt as if he had been “given permission” to form a band. Scritti Politti was the result, a Camden-based, squat-dwelling collective who produced what he describes as “scratchy-collapsy” music, all tumbling drums, tinny guitars and breathless vocals.
“The Scritti of Fred, David and I never did play live,” recalls Green. “We had a tour lined up and we kinda reluctantly went into a rehearsal place somewhere in Manhattan to figure out how the this album could be played. If I recall correctly, it became apparent immediately that we couldn’t reproduce the sound. The project was abandoned.”
Today, however, that project has been revitalized by the new-variant Scritti Politti, featuring Robert Smoughton, Rhodri Marsden and Dicky Moore, who have played alongside Green for the last decade. The shows will feature previously unperformed songs from Cupid & Psyche 85, alongside other material from Scritti’s history.